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Once you’ve taken all the necessary steps required to set up your new business, it’s time to let people know that your business exists so you can acquire new customers. The goal of any advertising campaign should be to:

• Reach the largest audience possible in the most cost-effective manner

• Attract new customers on an on-going basis.

If done properly, advertising can be an invaluable investment for your new business. Unfortunately, if you miss the mark, it can be a huge waste of both time AND money.

We are all surrounded by advertising on a daily basis. No matter where you go or what you do, you’ll ALWAYS see or hear ads, all that are trying to convince you to buy one thing or another. Understanding how advertising REALLY works and what it can (and cannot) do for your startup is not as easy as it seems. Advertising is just one part of your broader marketing strategy that can take numerous forms, including print (newspapers, magazines), online (search engine advertising, email, banner ads), radio or TV ads, direct mailing, signage, flyers and more.

Advertising can help you reach many goals you’ve set for your new business including:

• Attracting new customers

• Encouraging existing customers to spend more on your product or service

• Building credibility

• Establishing and maintaining your “brand” or unique image

• Enhancing your reputation

• Informing customers and prospects of how they will benefit from what you sell

Advertising can do all these things and more but there are some things it may not be able to help you with including creating an instant customer base, solving your cash flow problems or remedying poor or indifferent customer service. Additionally, advertising cannot help you create benefits for your products/services if the things you sell don’t have any benefits or if they’re products or services no one is interested in. In short, advertising will not guarantee that you obtain a large customer base or help you get sales all by itself but it can help get your startup noticed if you go about it in the correct manner.

Key Elements Necessary for Successful Startup Advertising

The four keys to successfully advertising your startup are:

Knowing Who Your Target Market Is
Before you can craft your ads, you have to know what type of people make up your target market. How old are they? Where are they located? Are they married, single, homeowners or people with certain habits, hobbies and interests? Once you can clearly identify your target market you can effectively craft your ads so these people find them appealing.Creating And Executing The Precise Message You Wish To Send
You must create and execute a precise message you want your targeted audience to understand. Many businesses go overboard with their advertising by creating and sending confusing messages their targeted market doesn’t understand. It is best to keep your ads on the simple side and focus on giving your target market a compelling reason to check out your business. Make sure your ads speak to your potential customers on a personal level they can relate to.Making Your Advertisements Stand Out From The Crowd
The advertising messages you send out must grab the attention of your target market by being interesting and unique. Remember that people are inundated with advertising every waking hour of the day so don’t be dull and boring. Focus on crafting messages that accentuate the benefits of your product or service so that your targeted customers see value in what you sell.

Giving Your Advertisement Time To Work
For most people, it takes seeing an advertisement several times before they decide to buy what is being advertised. Don’t think that people are going to break down your doors as soon as you start advertising because this is highly unlikely to happen. Instead, focus on spreading your messages around by advertising at different times and in different places so you can gain the attention of as many people as possible who fall within your target market.

Startups enjoy the benefit of not being bound by the many constraints & restrictions large corporations must deal with when it comes to advertising. Have some fun with how you advertise your new business and think ‘outside the box’ so you can capture the attention of your targeted customers. And by all means, take advantage of the many free ways to advertise your business which includes word-of-mouth, social media messages, directory listings, free classifieds and online forum & discussion group participation.

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